The Mapleton Observatory is situated within the grounds of the Mapleton Primary School. It is operated by a small band of dedicated volunteers who offer their time and energy to support the local community. The Observatory is open to the public on organised viewing nights.
The “COSMIC KIDS” program has been running for the last 10 years since the establishment of our observatory. We normally meet at school at 6:30pm and finish at 8pm. We meet in the library and visit the NASA websites on the computers as well as looking at any relevant information about the space station or planets. During the night, groups of students head out to the observatory to look at the planets, satellites and other galaxies. Last year we saw many amazing planets such as Jupiter and Saturn. Adrian Adams runs the observatory and along with his wife Lainie and other colleagues, was responsible for the construction of this special building. It was a project first developed and undertaken by John Henley (a previous principal).
We normally ask for a gold coin donation each time we have Cosmic Kids to help us with maintaining the equipment. At approximately 7:45pm, we make our way to the staffroom where we share a supper. The children bring along a plate of something to share and the school supplies the hot/ cold milos. Our teachers give up their own time to come up and run Cosmic Kids which we are so grateful for. At present, Cosmic Kids is open for students from Grade 3 -6, as we have to be aware of the numbers that we can cater for. Parents are welcome to come along and have a look at what is happening. We ask that parents arrive at 8:00pm and meet their child at the school staffroom.
The observatory is also used by other schools and community groups through a booking system. You are able to make a booking on the website.